As Wednesday’s are usually the day I write on something travel related I’ve combined this with the fantastic competition Accor Hotels are currently running entitled ‘Accor Hotels 24 hrs’ in short (Advertised on their twitter), they want to hear from US bloggers on what we’d do with 24 hours in our favourite cities in the chance (and hope) to win a 9 night stay across Europe for 2 people. That sounds pretty fantastic right? Well without further a do I present my tuppence on what I’d do with 24 hours in Paris.
A visit to the City of Lights is a challenging task for any art lover like myself. We are spoilt for choice with the likes of the Louvre, Musee D’Orsay , and the Musee de l’Orangerie. As a History of Art Grad my first stop in Paris would of course be the Louvre. But I’m sure we’re sensible enough to realise we probably need to stomach some breakfast before taking on such a terrific museum. Le Fumoir faces the front of the Louvre (eastern facade) and is perfect for grabbing a croissant and coffee to get your day started in style. Have a look at their menu here to stir those tastebuds. When you’ve tackled your Croissant you’ll be ready for the Louvre.
I’d recommend prebooking tickets to skip the line as when in a tad of a rush this will save us hours! I will warn you though, with only an hour or so aside for the Louvre I’d skip the collections you’re less fussed about and head to the 19th Century French Art. Here you can envelop yourself in Delacroix or Gericault.
If this is your first time to Paris you’ll of course want to view the Mona Lisa- but here’s a little insider tip, turn your back to Mona (The cheeky minx with those taunting eyes) and view one of the most beautiful Venetian paintings by Veronese. The sheer size of this piece can put other paintings to shame is one which inspired Napoleon to create such large murals of himself.
Once you’re fed up of the hustle and bustle of the Louvre, head out (don’t worry you’ll be back later to view the stunning building at night-time as a little insider tip). Head onwards for a stroll along the Seine to gather and calm yourself before hitting the next gallery.
The Musee D’Orsay is not only a beautiful building itself (a former railway station) but it hosts some of France’s most precious art to complete your Art Education for the morning.
Take a look at Manet’s Olympia and discover the Impressionist works to complete your history of French Art.
Time for lunch you say? No problem. Head to my most favourite spot to find food (that isn’t ridiculously priced) the Rue de la Huchette. They have every type of food here from traditional French cuisine to chips! This street is extremely focused towards tourist trade so in no way am I saying that this is the place to get an authentic French experience, because it’s not. If you are however looking for somewhere to eat, a little more relaxed with extremely competitive prices then et voila!
Now how to spend your afternoon? I think it’s time to hit the shops. Your mind has been stimulated now for your purse. Paris is HEAVEN for any shopping lover. With the Champs-Élysées you can feel your site seeing and discover all the best shops Paris has to offer. This 1.9 kilometres long street, runs between the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle, where the Arc de Triomphe is located. From Tiffanys to Gucci, Disney to GAP there is something for everyone down here.
If you’re not a fan of street shopping, why not hit the most beautiful department store I’ve ever seen? Galeries Lafayette. Located on Boulevard Haussmann you can easily get the tube here and shop till your hearts content- DON’T FORGET TO LOOK UP!
You’ve by now spent quite a few hours emptying your bank account so let’s do something a tad cheaper. After Dinner, my final new attraction I’d suggest and oh yes you’ll cringe… the Montparnasse Tower. Yep. The ugliest building in Paris. Yet I’m recommending it? Why I hear you ask? Well if you go up the tower you get the most beautiful view of Paris (minus the ugly building as you’re stood on it!) It really is a beautiful undisturbed view and has both in inside viewing area as well as an outside terrace (take a jacket as it can be windy!) One perk to this place is that is is so deftly quiet as most people hit the Eiffel Tower. So why not be ‘that guy’ who tries something a little different?
Finally, after you’ve grown tired (who am I kidding?) of looking over Paris’ views head to the Louvre at night. I said you’d be back didn’t I ;-)? You’ll find the stillness of this stunning building lit up by the most spectacular lights and the best part of all? You’ll pretty much have it to yourself!
Have you packed your bags yet?
* This post is a submission for the 24 Hour In… Competition with www.accorhotels.com. *